Richard Rees

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Sir Richard Lodowick Edward Montagu Rees, 2nd Baronet (4 April 1900 – 24 July 1970) was a British diplomat, writer and painter.

Rees was the son of Sir John Rees, 1st Baronet and his wife Mary Catherine Dormer. He was educated at West Downs School, Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. His father, who had been an administrator in British India and a Liberal politician, died in 1922 and he inherited the baronetcy.[1] He was for a while an attache at the British Embassy in Berlin. In 1925 he became a lecturer at the Worker's Educational Association in London, and also acted as Treasurer there.[2] He became editor of Adelphi in 1930, where he provided encouragement to George Orwell among others. He was the inspiration for the wealthy Ravelston, publisher of the socialist magazine Antichrist, in Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying.

In the Spanish Civil War he drove ambulances in Catalonia.[3] During World War II, he served in the Royal Navy, and also in the French Navy where he was awarded the Croix de Guerre.

As well as writing several books, he translated the works of Simone Weil and was the literary executor of George Orwell and R. H. Tawney.[2] In addition to writing, he was a painter, exhibiting at the Royal Academy.


  • Brave Men: A study of D H Lawrence and Simone Weil (Victor Gollancz, London, 1958)
  • For Love or Money (Secker & Warburg, London, 1960)
  • George Orwell: Fugitive from the Camp of Victory (Secker & Warburg, London, 1961)
  • A Theory of my Time (Secker & Warburg, London, 1963)
  • Simone Weil: A Sketch for a Portrait (Oxford University Press, London, 1966)
Edited with John Middleton Murry
  • Selected criticism 1916 to 1957 (Oxford University Press, London, 1960)
  • Poets, Critics, Mystics (Feffer & Simons, London & Amsterdam, 1970)
Translations with Jane Degras
  • Alfred Grosser Western Germany: From defeat to rearmament (George Allen & Unwin, London, 1955)
  • Jules Monnerot Sociology of Communism (George Allen & Unwin, London, 1953)
  • Simone Weil Selected Essays (Oxford University Press, London, 1962)
  • Simone Weil Seventy Letters (Oxford University Press, London, 1965)
  • Simone Weil On Science, Necessity, and the Love of God (Oxford University Press, London, 1968)
  • Simone Weil First and Last Notebooks (Oxford University Press, London, 1970


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment Baronetage
  2. ^ a b University College London - Rees Papers
  3. ^ Tom Buchanan The Impact of the Spanish Civil War on Britain: War, Loss and Memory Sussex Academic Press, 2007 ISBN 1-84519-127-7
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir John Rees
(of Aylward's Chase)
Succeeded by
Baronetcy extinct